Temporary Road Closure and Disruption to Traffic Policy and Guidelines

Reference: P12-015 (This policy replaces P90-016 (August 1990))
Status: Approved by the Council on 6 November 2012.

1. BACKGROUND

Events in the New Plymouth district contribute to the wellbeing of the district and help create a vibrant environment, build a sense of community, provide economic benefit and enhance the district’s identity. Road closures are sometimes necessary for such events and activities to take place.

2. POLICY PURPOSE

The purpose of the policy is to provide guidelines on the application process and rules pertaining to the closure of roads.

The policy focuses on the temporary closure of road(s) and/or disruption to traffic for events and does not replace any legal requirements/implications relating to this. 

3. POLICY SCOPE

The policy covers vehicle races or trials, processions, carnivals, celebrations, sporting events, or other special events, which require a road closure.

The Council may, subject to the provision of the Transport (Vehicular Traffic Road Closure) Regulations 1965 close the road to ordinary vehicular traffic for a period or series of periods of not more than 12 hours each in any consecutive 24 hours.

4. LEGISLATIVE AUTHORITY

Temporary road closures for the purposes of traffic management are made under either the Local Government Act 1974 (Schedule 10) or the Transport (Vehicular Traffic Road Closure) Regulations 1965.

5 POLICY STATEMENTS

5.1 Considerations for Council 

a) In considering applications for road closures, or disruption to traffic, the council will take into account the benefits arising from the purposes for which traffic is to be disrupted and the costs imposed on affected residents and commercial property occupiers and road users as it considers relevant including:
 
i. The traffic volume on the affected road(s).
ii. The time of day.
iii. The day of the week.
iv. The amount of time the event participants will be on the road.
v. The number of event participants.
vi. The extent to which the event disrupts traffic.

b) Consideration of a road closure will be in accordance with the merits of the individual application, including the Traffic Management Plan.

 The approval of the Traffic Management Plan (TMP) must be given by the Traffic Management Coordinator (TMC) or a person with delegated authority from the TMC for approving TMPs. 

c) The following matters shall be taken into account in considering the application for a road closure:

i. the views of those affected,
ii. the number of people affected,
iii. length of closure/disruption,
iv. good will,
v. reasonableness of the objections, and
vi. attempts by applicants to mitigate affects.

d) Events will not be given additional privilege because they are existing or new.

5.2 Responsibilities of Applicant

5.2.1 General

i. The applicant must meet the requirements of this policy, follow all information provided in their TMP and any conditions set by the council if their application is approved.
ii. Events must be organised to minimise any inconvenience and danger to normal road users, and to minimise any danger to people associated with the event, including spectators.
iii. The closure of intersections should be avoided, where possible, to help minimise affects of the closure.
iv. The applicant is required to make the road closure application to the Council no less than two months in advance and no greater than six months in advance.

5.2.2 Applications

Applications for a temporary road closure must be in writing as outlined in the Temporary Road Closure and Disruption to Traffic Guidelines. 

5.2.3 Traffic Management Plan

A Traffic Management Plan (TMP), compiled by an authorised Site Traffic Management Supervisor (STMS) shall be developed. The plan shall detail who will be implementing the TMP for the event. The plan must be received by the council no later than six weeks prior to the event.

5.2.4 Costs

Any costs relating to advertising (such as public notices) and damage to roading assets will be required to be paid by the applicant, as set out in the guidelines.  The General Manager Community Services, or their appointee, also has the authority to charge a bond prior to the event to cover such costs.

5.2.5 Insurance

i. The applicant is responsible for obtaining, and paying the cost for, adequate public liability insurance.  The insurance is required to indemnify the Council against any damage to property or persons as a result of activities during the road closure period at a minimum level of $1,000,000.  Council requires that it is covered under the terms of such policy. A copy of the insurance policy shall be given to the council, and is a condition of the road closure approval being granted.

ii. The applicant must agree to indemnify the Council and any third party for any claims arising from the event.

iii. The requirement for insurance is able to be waived for events where there is no, or very little, risk of damage occurring.  This is at the discretion of the General Manager Community Services or their appointee.

5.2.6 Consultation and Notification

The applicant is required to make reasonable efforts to consult with:

i. Affected residents and commercial property occupiers of all properties on the roads intended to be closed.

ii. Affected residents and commercial property occupiers on the proposed detour routes.

iii. Affected residents and commercial property occupiers on roads connecting with the roads intended to be closed.

iv. Those reasonably identifiable individuals, businesses and organisations likely to be using the affected roads, detour routes and connecting roads over the time of the closure or traffic disruption.

v. In the event that the applicant has been unable to speak with the affected residential and commercial property occupiers a letter outlining the proposed closure must be left with at the property of the affected property occupiers and must contain the date and time of the visit 

vi. The applicant shall make reasonable efforts to obtain signed consents from the affected residents and commercial property occupiers. The consent must contain the full name and address (including the RAPID property number). 

vii. The applicant shall provide the Council with information about the nature and extent of the consultation undertaken.

viii. As part of the consultation, the applicant shall notify the affected residents and commercial property occupiers of their right to make a submission and provided with details about how a submission to the Council may be made. 

5.2.7 Liaison

The applicant is required to liaise, and provide evidence of liaison, with all emergency services, rural delivery contractors; public and commercial transport operators and businesses that may be affected by the road closures.

5.2.8 Access

i. Emergency

Provisions shall be made by the applicant for the access of emergency vehicles at all times.  Emergency services must be made aware, by the applicant, of the event and how to contact the person in charge of the event, during the event.

Affected residents and commercial property occupiers must be informed, by the applicant, of arrangements made for emergency and other access to and from their properties during the closure and who to contact with any queries regarding this.

ii. Access During Closure

Agreements regarding access must be reached in conjunction with property owners or tenants. 

The applicant should, where practicable, meet affected residents and commercial property occupier’s requests for access to or from their property

Where possible, flexibility to allow access during a closure is encouraged.

5.3 Objections/Hearings

Affected residential and commercial properties and other affected parties shall have the opportunity to submit on the proposed road closure in accordance with the provisions contained within the Transport (Vehicular Traffic Road Closure) Regulations 1965 and as outlined in the Council guidelines.

The applicant is to comply with the objection provisions contained within the Transport (Vehicular Traffic Road Closure) Regulations 1965 and as outlined in the Council guidelines.

5.4 Monitoring

Spot checks are likely to be made, by an authorised Council officer. These will be to check adherence to approved traffic management plans and that no unforeseen situations have arisen. 

If breaches of the TMP are found, causing safety issues, the officer will request, under Code of Practice for Temporary Traffic Management (CoPTTM) and Local Road Supplements (LRC), the STMS to rectify the problem within 30 minutes.  If this does not occur, the officer has the authority to stop the event immediately.  Breaches of the TMP may affect the approval of future applications by the event organisers.

4.5 Other 
 
The decision-maker, when considering an application, has the discretion to add additional conditions to any closure application, as deemed necessary.

6 FEES AND CHARGES

 The Council may from time to time by resolution set fees for the:

a. Administration and processing of the road closure application
b. Routine compliance inspections

 The Council requires the applicant to pay the costs of advertising the temporary road closure.

7. ADDITIONAL POLICY GUIDANCE

The policy shall be used in conjunction with the temporary road closure and disruption to traffic guidelines attached to the policy.

Event organisers must adhere to the Transit Code of Practice for Temporary Traffic Management (CoPTTM) and, where applicable, the Local Roads Supplement (LRS).

8. POLICY CONTACT

The policy holder is the Customer and Regulatory Services Team within the Community Services Group.

9 POLICY REVIEW 

This policy shall be reviewed three yearly from the date the policy is adopted.

This policy replaces P90-016 (August 1990)

Date of Adoption: 6 November 2012

Guidelines

These guidelines should be used on conjunction with the temporary road closure and disruption to traffic policy.

1. NOTIFICATION

The New Plymouth Fire Service, New Plymouth Police & Police Communications Centre, Taranaki Base Hospital and the Ambulance Service must be notified of any temporary road closure and/or disruption to traffic.

Other groups and organisations which may be required to be notified in an urban area, depending on the event, include but are not limited to:

  • Automobile Association
  • Road Transport Association
  • Bus operators
  • Taxi operators
  • NZ Post
  • Courier Firms
  • Iwi and hapu

Other groups and organisations which may be required to be notified in a rural area, depending on the event, include but are not limited to:

  • Fonterra
  • Artificial Breeding Technicians (in rural areas from October – November)
  • Tramping Club
  • Fish and Game
  • Local veterinary providers
  • Iwi and hapu

The road closure applicant is advised to consult with the Council regarding the identification of groups and organisations that may need to be notified of the road closure.

Notifications should be made in conjunction with public notices advertising the proposed closure to allow people to make submissions.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to notify the Police of the end of the event that the road has been re-opened (particularly in the case of events ending earlier than anticipated).

2. APPLICATIONS

Applications must generally include:

  • Which roads will be closed, including a map
  • The reason(s) for the road closure
  • Date and time of road closure(s)
  • Contact person on the date of the road closure
  • The plan for notifying the necessary people
  • Efforts made to mitigate adverse effects
  • If the event will be cancelled due to weather and when that decision will be made
  • Insurance arrangements

At times the scale of the event may mean that all this information is not required.  Applicants are advised to contact the Council prior to making an application to check what requirements are required for each specific application. 

Applications must be received by the council no less than two months prior to the event. 

Following initial acceptance of the application, the applicant is required to submit a Traffic Management Plan (TMP), compiled by an authorised Site Traffic Management Supervisor (STMS).  TMPs describe the nature and extent of temporary traffic management and how road users will be managed by the use of temporary traffic management measures.  TMPs detail the measures to ensure safety for all people involved in the activity.

Applications should be sent to:   
Temporary Road Closure Application (or Disruption to Traffic)
New Plymouth District Council
Private Bag 2025
New Plymouth.

3. INSURANCE

As per the legislative and policy requirements the applicant must hold Public Liability Insurance to indemnify the applying organisation and the Council against any claims or actions that may arise from the staging of the event to a minimum of $1,000,000 in respect of any one claim or accident.  A copy of the policy or cover note must be provided to the Council no less than 28 days prior to the meeting of Council that will make the decision.

4. GENERAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF APPLICANT

The approved Traffic Management Plan shall be strictly adhered to throughout the event.

Sufficient marshals to control and direct vehicles and pedestrians at all points where the closed road intersects with any open road and elsewhere as necessary shall be provide. All marshals shall wear traffic safety vests or other high visibility clothing whilst on or adjacent to the roadway.

Make adequate provisions to permit emergency vehicles, property owners and occupiers within the area and their invitees, customers or employees reasonable access to and from properties on the closed road.  For through roads make adequate provisions for reasonable access through the closed section.  Details are to be included in the Traffic Management Plan.

All spectators shall be provided with parking on private property i.e. off road reserve.

The applicant must ensure that all competitors comply with, all relevant laws and regulations not waived by temporary road closure under Section 342 and Schedule10 of the Local Government Act 1974.

5. COSTS

Application
The cost for making a road closure and disruption to traffic application is set out in the annual Schedule of Fees and Charges.

Advertising
The Council is responsible for managing the advertising that is required for a road closure and the determination of the level of advertising that is required.

If a road is to be temporarily closed under the Transport (Vehicular Traffic Road Closure) Regulations 1965, a public notice, paid for by the applicant, must be advertised at least 42 days prior to the event and again no later than 24 hours prior to the event.

The applicant is required to pay for all advertising costs in appropriate newspapers.  Public notice advertisements will be published in the Midweek on the NPDC Seven Days page in the first instance.  It may be appropriate to also advertise in the Taranaki Daily News, and other local community newspapers depending on the nature and location of the event.

The applicant is required to pay for the advertising costs prior to the road closure permission being determined.

6. FIXING DAMAGE TO ROAD ASSETS

Where the event may result in damage to a road(s), the road(s) shall be restored to the original condition following the event. 

The applicant shall advise the Council in writing of any damage to the road surface, shoulders, drainage channels, verges, signs or other road furniture resulting from the event. 

Council will arrange for an inspection of the road(s), including prior to the event and at the completion of the event.

 The applicant shall and pay all costs incurred by the Council in making good any such damage, whether reported or not.

7. SIGNS AND BARRIERS

Information relating to signs must be included in the TMP. For the duration of the event the road closure shall be adequately sign-posted in accordance with the approved Traffic Management Plan.

The applicant is solely responsible for signposting and policing of the roads to be closed, to ensure that only vehicles connected with the road closure have access to the road closure areas, except when it is deemed safe to allow other vehicles to have access.  The applicant shall arrange the delivery, erection and manning of all road closure barriers and their removal thereof after closures.  All gates and entranceways are to be taped at the time of closure and tape is to be removed thereafter.  All rubbish resulting from the event must be removed.

The applicant or their representative may be required to meet with council staff regarding the required signs format, size, location and quantity of signs for approval before they are manufactured and erected.   Signage requirements may vary depending on the impact and size of the event.

Adequate warning signage shall be attached to all tape placed over any vehicle access way to ensure residents are aware of the event with appropriate notice, e.g. “Warning: motorsport event in progress – keep off road – contact details (provide mobile phone number).”

Signs and barriers advising of the road closures are to be erected at the start and end of the closed portions of roads and on each intersecting road two weeks prior to the road closure. 

Upon completion of each stage of the event, and no later than the time specified for the end of the closure, remove all signs and barricades restricting access on that stage, and within 24 hours of the completion of the event clear all litter and debris from the road to the satisfaction of the Council

8. SUBMISSIONS/HEARINGS

If an application is to be considered under the Transport Regulations, the council must give public notice of the intended road closure at least 42 days before the date of the event.  Any persons affected by the proposed road closure may then lodge a submission not later than 28 days before the proposed closure. 

If no submissions are received regarding an application under the Transport Regulations, council officers have delegated authority to approve applications (signed off by General Manager Community Services). If submissions are received and cannot be resolved, the Hearings Commission will consider the application.

If an application is to be considered under the Local Government Act 1974 (LGA) Schedule 10, there are no set legal requirements for how long the submission period should be open for. 

In most cases, the timelines under the Transport Regulations should be used, unless reasons are provided for not doing so.

The LGA74 is often used where the applicants require the removal of the designation of road or when time does not allow for the use of transport regulations.  This should be discussed with council officers as soon as possible.

Applications made under the LGA74 are reported to the Monitoring Committee, and the decision will be made by that committee if opposing submissions are not received.  If submissions are received and cannot be resolved, the Hearings Commission has the authority to hear submissions and make a decision.

9. WITHDRAWAL OF CLOSURE

The applicant is required to notify the Police and the Council in the event that the road closure is no longer needed.

Where a late cancellation of the event takes place (i.e. after road closure signs, barriers etc have been placed at the venue), the full TMP shall remain in place for the approved road closure time period; or until such time as the site traffic management supervisor can liaise with the police to ensure that there would be no risk to vehicular or pedestrian traffic if the event was cancelled and the TMP conditions removed.